Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Legislation to give FDA authority over tobacco

Legislation to grant the Federal Drug Administration authority over cigarettes product regulation has moved to the U.S. House of Representatives. The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the bill, which has bipartisan support.

According to a Wednesday article by the Media General News Service, the legislation would give the FDA control over nicotine levels, cigarette marketing and health-warning labels, proposals that have been in Congress for more than a decade.

The bill would reinstate the FDA's 1996 rule that restricted cigarettes marketing and sales to youth. According to a release by the Energy and Commerce Committee, the legislation would give the FDA the authority and resources to control regulation of tobacco products.

"The legislation provides FDA with resources necessary to fulfill its new responsibilities by requiring manufacturers and importers of tobacco to pay user fees to fund FDA's new regulatory responsibilities under the bill," according to the release.

According to the committee's Web site, the bill has more than 600 organizations supporting it.

Ryan Willcott, president of College Republicans, said there are parts of the legislation he likes, like the push to lower the levels of nicotine to help with addiction. He also said he likes that the government would be able to rid any appeals that cigarettes have to children, and he agrees with increasing the size of the surgeon general's warning on packaging.